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The Father of Glass: Who Invented Glass?

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Dear Glass Detective,

Can you tell me, who is the father of glass?

Anchorage, Alaska



I cannot tell you how happy I am that you asked this question although you may not be all that happy with my answer. You see, this is an area that I researched quite extensively back in the early 90s and I have actually written on this subject several times in the past.

Who Invented Glass?

As to your specific question, I don’t think anyone can lay claim to the title “Father of Glass” because it is not clear exactly who first discovered glass and there is a fair amount of debate as to who started making glass first. We do know that glass in one form or another has been around since the dawn of history.

When Was Glass Invented?

Archeologists know that naturally formed glass—obsidian formed in volcanic activity—was used on spear tips in ancient times. Manmade glass objects date back to at least 3500 BC and glass containers have been around since at least 1500 BC.

Who Discovered the Glass Casting Process?

As for the processes developed to actually cast or form pieces of glass, some will claim that the Venetians were first to develop the art while many will credit the Mesopotamians or the Chinese. The last thirty years or so have seen a number of tremendous developments with regard to the use of glass in architectural and decorative applications.

And many, like myself, believe the best days for glass, particularly in architectural applications, are still ahead of us. So while I cannot speak to the paternity of glass, I am truly thankful for the many men and women who have developed, improved, and expanded its use over the centuries. Our lives are all the better for their efforts.

About the Glass Detective

With over 40 years of experience working in the glass industry, the Glass Detective is here to answer all of your glass questions. With expertise ranging from architectural glass to automotive glass, the Glass Detective is here to answer your questions. Submit a question to the Glass Detective today!

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Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management. Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon. Find out more about Lyle on Linkedin.

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6 Responses

    1. Elsy … you may be on to something. As The Glass Detective, I will look into it and if I turn up anything new, you will be the first to know. Well, actually you would be the second to know because i would be the first to know … right???

  1. I have been a Stained Glass artist for 15 years in the Charlotte NC area, I have been able to find out when and who invented the glass window. However I am having a problem getting a definitive answer as to who and when was the first stained glass window was made? Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jacques,
      Thanks for the question! We actually recently wrote a blog on the history of stained glass too. Check it out here:

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